High-quality epitaxial iron nitride films grown by gas-assisted molecular-beam epitaxy

Borsa, D. M.; Grachev, S.; Boerma, D. O.; Kerssemakers, J. W. J.
August 2001
Applied Physics Letters;8/13/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 7
Academic Journal
Thin films of γ’-Fe[sub 4]N were grown on polished (001) MgO substrates by molecular-beam epitaxy of iron in the presence of a gas flow from a rf atomic source. By means of x-ray diffraction, Mo¨ssbauer Spectroscopy, Rutherford backscattering/channeling, and scanning probe microscopy, it is shown that, with this method, single-phase, high-quality epitaxial thin films can be grown with a very smooth surface (root-mean-square roughness ∼0.4 nm). Magnetic measurements reveal square hysteresis loops, moderate coercivities (45 Oe for a 33 nm thick film) and complete in-plane orientation of the magnetization. These properties make the films interesting candidates for device applications. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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